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Sun Tran #5511

Sun Tran #5511

TUCSON, ARIZONA
47 passenger, 1975 AM General, Model 9640-8, Serial 000612


Bus # 5511 in its original paint scheme on Broadway east of Stone in August 1975.

The 1950’s brought massive declines in transit service in the United States due to increasing popularity of the automobile. Within two decades bus lines went from their all-time peak ridership during World War II to the verge of bankruptcy. In city after city municipal government assumed responsibility for transit service, among them Tucson in 1969 and Phoenix in 1971. City ownership and management meant new service and new diesel buses, just in time for the gasoline crisis in the winter of 1973. Tucson was especially hard hit with long lines at the gas pumps. While the City temporarily leased buses to provide additional service, they also ordered 44 new buses which were delivered in 1975. Thirty-two of them were 35-foot-long Flexibles, while 12 of them were the first 40-foot-long buses the City would own. Number 5511 is a part of that order (# 5501-5512). These buses were also the first to arrive under the new name for the City’s system, Sun Tran, with the new logo and red, white, yellow and blue color scheme applied.

Bus # 5511 in its second paint scheme on Broadway west of Church in December 1979.

For a large part of their operational life, these buses were assigned to the 3-East Sixth Street route. A new management company hired by the City in 1978 introduced the second Sun Tran paint scheme with a modified sun logo. Number 5511 continued to ply the Sun Tran routes until its retirement in 1995 when it was donated to Old Pueblo Trolley by the City of Tucson.